The New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds, the two of the most active teams this offseason, are reportedly close to a trade that would ship Sonny Gray to the Reds.
One report comes from Jon Heyman on Twitter.
Yankees, Reds are finalizing the Sonny Gray trade. infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick are expected to go to NY, and possibly a 3rd lesser piece. Long is an excellent hitter, fair defender. Just need to cross t’s, dot i’s (ie medicals, 40-man considerations, etc.)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 20, 2019
Sonny Gray has been on the trading block for a while now, and the Yankees finally found a suitor. The Reds have made offensive moves to bolster their team like adding Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to join Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Eugenio Suarez.
The Reds have a solid hitting team, and now with the addition of Kemp, the Reds can roll out four batters who were in the top 25 for OPS in 2018 (Suarez 7-.892; Gennett 16-.847; Votto 19-.837; Kemp 24-.818).
However, the Reds need help in regards to pitching. Last season, the Reds had the 24th worst ERA at 4.63 and the 25th worst WHIP at 1.40.
The Reds are linked to the Cleveland Indians’ ace Corey Kluber and have added Tanner Roark from Washington and Alex Wood from Los Angeles. With an improved pitching staff, Sonny Gray may be the missing piece to help the Reds make a postseason push. It surely makes the NL Central one of the toughest divisions alongside the AL East.
The Reds are hoping Gray has a resurgence after struggling with the Yankees over the last season and half. The 27th round pick from Nashville, Tennessee pitched to a 15-16 record in pinstripes with a 4.51 ERA and an embarrassing 1.416 WHIP.
The Yankees did not acquire the pitcher they thought they were. In 2015, Gray was an All-Star and finished third in Cy Young voting with a 1.082 WHIP in the pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum.
In return, the Yankees are supposedly acquiring 2B prospect Shed Long. He is the 7th best prospect in the Reds system according to MLB.com.
Here is some footage of the 5-8 second baseman.
Long, according to RedsMinorLeagues.com, has average power and defense, but is able to hit the ball to all fields with power. His best ability is to hit for average. He also has an uppercut swing…but in this era of launch angle and exit velocity, the Yankees could alter his swing to be more fine tuned and hit for more power.
He bats left handed, so the short porch in right field could play to his strength if he makes it to The Show in pinstripes anytime soon.
The majors could be a reality within a year for Long and he has potential to be a long-term second baseman in the big leagues…at least R.J. Anderson from CBS Sports feels that way.
Obviously, the Yankees supposedly have their franchise second baseman in Gleyber Torres, but Long could act as injury depth and play when rosters expand in September. He also could be used in a trade in the future.
If he does not pan out, it is okay, because another prospect and a draft pick are also included in this trade.
If this trade does in fact finalize as reports indicate, the Yankees are winning this trade. They are scraping Gray who does not even have a place in their starting rotation for two prospects and draft pick. Long has good upside, he is a player Yankees fans should be excited about.
Featured Image: Edbon Sports